First Bites

Crazee Olive's Late Night Falafel On South Beach

How can it be that a new falafel joint opened almost a year ago and nobody told me? I had to sniff it out myself while riding by last night on Washington Avenue. Crazee Olive Mediterranean Grill is actually more than just a falafel joint -- it offers a pretty extensive menu. There are burgers, chicken wings, salmon or shrimp kabobs as well as shawarma, hummus and the like. I tried the falafel platter, which with tax came to $8.71. The chick pea fritters were freshly fried, crisp on the outside and creamy within -- greened with herbs, too. Ripe tomatoes on the side, along with cucumbers, red onion and lettuce, were dressed with vinegar and sprinkled with sumac. Fries ($2.25/$2.75) are hand cut and excellent -- they come with fancy toppings, but I stuck with the classic. Pita bread was warmed, and you get a side of tahini as well as a spicy harissa dip. It was a great falafel platter.

Crazee wasn't very crazy when I ate there during early evening, but it hops late at night and later at night -- stays open until 6 a.m. on weekends. Or so I'm told. I've got a feeling I'll find myself here more often during lunch time, maybe to take advantage of five-buck lunch offers that include burger, fries, and soda; or six fried wings, fries, and soda; or a six-ounce falafel burger. Crazee Olive's owner is Iranian, the chef is Lebanese, the workers are as friendly as can be. I shall return to check out the hummus.

751 Washington Ave.
Miami Beach 33139

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Miami New Times' restaurant reviewer for the past decade, and the world's indisputable master of disguise.
Contact: Lee Klein